Historic Sites of Manitoba: Winnipeg Electric Company Middlechurch Substation (3796 Main Street, RM of West St. Paul)
Commissioned by the Winnipeg Electric Railway Company (WERC) to serve as a local substation for its streetcar line between Winnipeg and Selkirk, this two-storey brick structure was built in the Rural Municipality of St. Paul around 1907. With an attached residential annex, this building was similar in appearance to another one of the company’s substations at Lockport. The third site, the Winnipeg Electric Railway Company Kildonan Substation, was located near the Kildonan Methodist Church within the Rural Municipality of Kildonan. This structure housed two large generators, each of which was capable of producing 600 kilowatts used to power the streetcars. It serviced both the WERC’s Selkirk line streetcars as well as those of the Winnipeg, Selkirk, & Lake Winnipeg Railway. Conversion of the line from steam to electric was completed on 20 May 1908.
In later years, the building was used by a wool-processing company. It was acquired in 1986 by its present owners who operate an antiques business in it.
Photos & Coordinates
“Transfer of Selkirk line,” Winnipeg Tribune, 5 February 1906, page 1.
“River river [ad],” Manitoba Free Press, 21 May 1907, page 3.
“Selkirk line opening,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 April 1908, page 9.
“Selkirk line opening,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 April 1908, page 10.
“Electric cars to Selkirk,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 May 1908, page 1.
“Winnipeg to Selkirk,” Winnipeg Tribune, 21 May 1908, page 1.
“Remarkable growth of a great Electric St. Ry. system,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 December 1908, page 20.
“Kildonan delegation,” Winnipeg Tribune, 12 April 1909, page 2.
“Company satisfied,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 June 1909, page 9.
“City wins point in legal fight,” Winnipeg Tribune, 19 October 1909, page 9.
“Winnipeg Electric St. Railway - The interesting story of a great Western enterprise,” Winnipeg Tribune, 24 December 1909, page 19.
“Better car service for Kildonan,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 June 1911, page 49.
“Winnipeg Electric Railway Enterprise,” Winnipeg Tribune, 3 August 1911, page 13.
“Electric line to Lake Winnipeg,” Manitoba Free Press, 7 August 1912, page 22.
“Good finds abound at Candle Company” by Rick Sparling, The Herald (Winnipeg Free Press), 31 December 2014.
We thank George Penner for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.
Page revised: 29 May 2022